Portrait. Ideas

From my idea storm I came up with different shots I have come up with different shots I can capture when doing my shoots.

Someone I Don’t Know


For the imagery for someone I don’t know I feel the best way to capture the imagery would be to either capture a quick shot of showing what someone looks like through different angles. The way in which Bruce Gilden does otherwise if this doesn’t work then I could try shadows. However, I will try the shadow outlook as it be a different route to ones I’ve taken before.







Someone I know


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Here I’ve looked at different ways in which people sat so to consider different angles of which I could capture the image of my subject in the shoot. This intern means I can incorporate them being relaxed, their style and stance. As well as plan the best angles I have available when shooting.


Portrait. Storm

Following on from my research I created a map of ideas so to plan how I was going to create my images. Half (top half) is based on the shoot of someone I don’t know, the other half (bottom half) is for someone I do know.

ideas portrait shoot

Portrait. Someone I know Research

For my “Someone I Know” portrait I’ve decided to try and show an interaction with the person through a candid look. As the way of which this image is.

As I like the image’s interaction with the person, which creates an intimacy and sense of warmth. It also has a candid feel to it due to the location and set-up. Making it something that can easily be created so has a sense of people out enjoying themselves and wanting to document it through photography during that time.

This image though I can see as being set in the same location as the previous one and people enjoying themselves while hanging out. While also incorporating more of an attitude, style and fashion of the person as well as the interaction between the person and photographer. The angle is also interesting as it emphasizes the angle the person is sitting and the fashion style.

Portrait. Photographers Someone I don’t know Research

This led me onto the photographers I had come to mind who focused on fashion. So mainly I looked at Bruce Gilden’s and Garry Winogrand’s work. Which also sent me on to Paul Graham’s and Lee Friedlander’s work. These created the basis for how I wanted to create my work. The idea of anonymity was something I thought would be interesting to capture.

Bruce Gilden

Gilden was a street photography that is based on portraiture, which is formed into Fashion photography.  He gained fame through his style.  This is based on capturing close up images quick intervals so people don’t realize their image is being captured. Like with this image New York. Fashion Shoot 2005.


In this image “USA. Queensway, New York, 2005. Fashion shoot. Mafia Funeral” which is focused on a simple gesture of the man giving the woman a light for her cigarette at the end of the funeral. However, with the woman being dressed in a ball gown style outfit and the man in a suit and tie. It is formed into a fashion statement instead of being a gesture of respect that it was intended to be.

From this I looked at how he created his work, where I found a street photographers meeting with him…

“Imagine getting into a stranger’s face (mere inches away) and firing a flash. He does that, over and over again. The most interesting part? No one seems to care. Gilden even thanks people afterward more often than not. So much for the old saying about never making eye contact. He not only looks at people, he speaks to them… Use a flash when you don’t need one… It adds effortless drama to the photograph, especially in black and white. You get some background defocus too. Overall it just adds a layer of ‘wow’ to your street photos with little effort”.

I like this work due to the way in which the imagery is captured. Plus how the people still hold their identity even though the imagery is captured in spontaneous bursts. Showing the high impact of preparation. This is the style of imagery that I want to capture for my unknown portrait.

Garry Winogrand

Another person who focuses on this type of photography is Garry Winogrand. He is also a street photographer however he focuses on capturing imagery that depict people in a comical yet at times sinister way. Like this piece “El Morocco, 1955” where the woman is the main focus! Due to her being shown as having an outlook of a vampire about to bite the man’s neck, this is from the expression on her face and her teeth.  Although the person is simply dancing with her partner and enforced to create the expression for what could be a simple reason. Due to Winogrand’s imagination and sharp eye he sees differently.

This humorous yet sinister outlook is what captures my interest in the work as I find it interesting to view. Although this is created in the same way as Gilden’s work it has a different outlook due to what the photographer sees and the use of spontaneous moments. Even though I’m not setting out to create these spontaneous moments in my work I will keep this in mind so to capture some if the chance comes about while shooting.

Paul Graham

Here in Graham’s work he focuses on capturing moments that arise when he’s out and about. Although he keeps his distance the same as Winogrand he captures people without them even noticing. This is the same with this image “A Shimmer of Possibility” where a person is captured sitting at the bus stop, eating etc. Living a typical life yet the possibilities in what their life holds is endless of what they could be doing yet no one knows.

This work I feel is the best level of capturing imagery for me, as I am able to keep a distance plus people will be less unsuspecting with their image being captured. So as a starting point I may try and capture imagery like this so to show the unknown possibility.

Lee Friedlander

Alongside this I looked at Lee Friedlander’s work, which made me consider taking someone’s portrait differently so that instead of capture the person I focus on the unknown.  Instead capture the person’s shadow something that is an honest depiction of the person yet it doesn’t tells you much about them so they are still unknown.

I like this work as it shows a person yet it also removes the identity. It also looks at capturing an image in more of an experimental way. I feel that if my original idea does not work I may try this way as as it is interesting to capture.

However, while also looking at Friedlander’s work I also came across this image that she had captured. This was of a person on a television. This made me think of how celebrities/fame is all around society though social media like twitter. Otherwise on television, on the radio in news papers, magazines. So much so that the people’s lives are taken over by it. Yet the people portrayed aren’t really known just their faces are and what .you depict them to be like from how you see them in the media.

I find this interesting to view and would be another route to take if I decide to change the angle of which I am facing for looking at my imagery. However,for now this is just something that I can use as future reference to influence me on projects.

Portrait. Advert

When reading the brief I thought of the way people’s responses are shown through their clothing and a set feel is created to go alongside it. A good example of this is with the Topshop advert.

This is one based on London’s Fashion week. The key piece I noticed from this was how there were:

–          Silhouettes in the background focusing on the shadow of women wearing the fashion. Yet the women have no identity.

–          The poses create a style of a set attitude from each different fashion trend.

–          The fashion is the key feature not the person.

This combined with the definition in mind of what a portrait is:

“ A painting, drawing, photograph, or engraving of a person”

“A representation or impression of someone or something in language or in film”.

Made me think I would focus on the fashion instead of the person. In turn removing the identity of the person the same way in which the silhouettes have.

Portrait. Depiction of Brief

For the two different portraits, one being the key factor is someone I know. While the other images key factor is someone I don’t know. I have decided to emphasize the facts so that it is clear through my imagery.

Someone I Know

The main key thing to anyone of whom they know is that they are confortable around them and are able to speak to them without feeling awkward as they have an understanding, acceptance and knowledge of what the person is like. Due to this the people are able to be in each other personal space more. This has given me the idea of which to capture a relaxed, natural image of my friend while hanging out with her.

In this image my layout will be set as being a sort of posed but unawares image. Meaning that the subject will be able to see clearly that the image is there and that the camera is in close proximity to them. While at the same time, be seen as being unawares of it being there or playing up to the camera.

In return my image will show what the person is like as a character and the proximity of the subject and myself knowing each other.

Someone I Don’t Know

Where as with someone you don’t know I will be nervous and distant from asking him or her. In return this will also lead to the person being photographed feeling awkward and nervous. Not really being able to capture a portrayal of the person properly as they will be caught off guard. This reason linked in with Bruce Gildens work has created an idea in my head of capturing imagery through quickly photographing people and walking away or capturing an image at a distance while my lens is set up close by using a long focus.  Doing so means I will be able to capture a real portrayal of the person in their own world and unawares.

Later editing the image so that the faces are made darker so to remove their identity yet still kept so that you can barely see them. Consequently making the person become anybody who passes by.

Summer Task. Portrait

Another of my summer tasks during the holiday was to

“Make two portraits. You can interpret this as broad as you like, but there are two stipulations. One portrait must be of a person you now well and one portrait must be of someone you don’t know.


Consider how you will approach this brief. Have you approached each portrait differently? What is important in the portrait and how are you going to represent this?

On you blog write a 300-word reflection that discusses how you approached making/creating the portraits”.

From seeing this, my first reaction is to focus on the key piece of how well I know a person so to emphasize the relaxed feel around each other. Where as with the other portrait it will be how I don’t know them so they don’t pay me any attention.